The Answer is Love

Today’s prompt is to write a Love/Anti-Love poem.

Face it.
An act of hate doesn’t begin
when a hate-addled man
picks up his AR-15
and walks into a crowded bar,
like the start of some sick
and twisted joke.

When that man walks into the bar,
he walks with the priest, the imam,
and the rabbi. He walks with the politician
and the school board member,
with the teacher and the parent
and the angry uncle, with everyone
who offered him permission,
tacit or explicit, to exclude and disdain,
to give up his soul to hatred.

We know how the trail of hate
leads from language to violence,
how the rhetoric of the pulpit
and the political speech
becomes the action on the street,
the rock thrown through the window,
the young lovers beaten,
the gun in the nightclub.

We must refuse to let
the narrative of hatred dominate.
We must create new languages for love,
new analyses, new sermons and speeches
that reach beyond the binary way of thinking,
that actively teach connection, inclusion, belonging.

In the end,
the way to combat hate
is to begin with the rhetoric of love,
is to live as though love is the answer
in the end.

Gratitude List:
1. An incredible assembly at school today for Grandfriends’ Day
2. Decking the halls with my colleagues
3. All the people who really do believe that the answer is love
4. Break has begun!
5. That sliver of a moon
May we walk in Beauty!

“The ability to sit with mystery and explore the dark but fertile realms of infinite possibility is crucial to the work of inhabiting a meaningful life. We have to learn to stay rooted in the midst of chaotic obscurity, in the shadow-haunted wild places of the psyche. We need these rootings more than ever during the bone-deep metamorphosis that is menopause.” —Sharon Blackie

“To see where you are going, look behind you. The clues are there. Mistakes you have made, patterns you have followed, breakthroughs you have had, ideas that did not turn out as planned: your experience is your guide. It tells you what you may expect on the road ahead. The key is in how much you have learned from the past and how those learnings shape your decisions for the future. Look before you leap: look back to see what may come.” —Steven Charleston

“Revolution means reinventing culture.” —Grace Lee Boggs

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